The majority of May’s big concerts take place on the far side of Hillsborough County, at the outdoor behemoth known as the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre. In April we saw Amalie Arena bounce back to concert life, after the Covid-caused pause, with a major marquee of shows. This month, it’s Mid-Florida’s turn.
Chief among these May concerts is the May 19 appearance of the uber-popular pop singer Halsey, on her “Love and Power Tour.” May 15 brings comedian John Mulaney, whose most recent bay area appearances were at the little ol’ Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, and then St. Petersburg’s Mahaffey Theater – he’s moving up in the world.
Country megastar Tim McGraw plays Mid-Florida May 6, followed on the 13th by Nashville favorite Miranda Lambert, sharing the bill with Little Big Town.
Comedian Bill Burr throws down May 20, and on the 25th it’s the Dave Matthews Band, needing no introduction.
And how about this: At the Seminole Hard Rock Event Center: Adam Lambert (May 3); the Offspring (May 6); Stylistics (May 8); Marlon Wayans (May 12); Joan Jett & the Blackhearts (May 15); Candlebox (May 19); Sting (May 21); Sum 41 and Simple Plan (May 25).
Amalie Arena’s shows in May: Maxwell (the 7th) and country singer Kane Brown (21st).
Singer/songwriter Randall Bramblett, a founding member of Sea Level and one of the South’s most esteemed writers and sidemen (he played saxophone with Steve Winwood for years), is at the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center May 7.
Mike Campbell, longtime guitarist with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, arrives at the Orpheum (Tampa) May 4 with his band the Dirty Knobs. Heartbreakers founding drummer Stan Lynch is sitting in for this leg of the Knobs tour. The Afghan Whigs are at the Orpheum May 12.
It’s an uncharacteristically light month at Ruth Eckerd Hall and Capitol Theatre. Highlights: Boz Scaggs (May 2); reality TV personality Lala Kent (May 5); Madeleine Peyroux and Sophie B (May 7); Five For Fighting (May 13); acoustic guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel (May 14); comedian Rob Schneider (May 20); Stryper (May 23); the return of the stage show Jersey Boys (May 24); jazz guitar legend George Benson (May 27); Texas singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen (a “Ruth on the Road” show, at Tampa Theatre).
At the Mahaffey Theater: Rock ‘n’ roll’s Les Claypool and Primus are onstage May 4; comedian/actress Wanda Sykes brings the laughs May 13, and May 25-29 is reserved for the annual appearance by the historical Chinese dance extravaganza Shen Yun.
At the Palladium: Edward Arron, cello and Jeewon Park, piano in recital May 4; the Tampa Bay Symphony May 10; jazz singer Halie Loren May 19.
At the Straz Center: The Tampa Bay Symphony (May 8); multi-instrumentalist Treya Lam (May 9); Ronnie Marmo in a one-man show called I’m Not a Comedian, I’m Lenny Bruce (May 21); Latin jazz star Alex Cuba (May 23); acclaimed roots artist Amythyst Kiah (May 27). The Broadway Series continues with The Band’s Visit (May 4-8) and Pretty Woman – the Musical (May 17-22).
Jobsite Theater, the Straz Center’s resident professional company, premieres Bertolt Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui: A Gangster Spectacle May 11.
Stageworks’ long-delayed production of Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer Prize-wining drama Anna in the Tropics premieres May 6, with select performances (its runs through May 22) performed in Spanish.
Rosa Fernandez’s paranormal drama A Skeptic and a Bruja, currently onstage at Sarasota’s Urbanite Theatre, moves to freeFall Theatre May 20 for a month-long run.
In Demens Landing Park, Footloose the Musical from American Stage runs through May 8.
LAB Theatre Project opened The Sugar Ridge Rag this weekend, and it will continue through May 15.
The new show at Studio Grand Central is the world premiere of the drama Into the Night; it runs for just three days, May 5-8.
The Florida Orchestra
It’s the final month of the season for The Florida Orchestra, performing at the Mahaffey, the Straz Center and/or Ruth Eckerd Hall, depending on the show, depending on the weekend. Then there’s “Pops in the Park,” a free concert May 8 at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, Tampa (bring canned goods for Tampa Bay Harvest’s annual food drive). TFO joins forces with the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay for Mozart’s Requiem May 13-15, and performs Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, with Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (with pianist Benjamin Grosvenor) May 21 and 22. The season ends with Stars and Stripes Forever, a concert of American music for Memorial Day Weekend, May 28 at the Straz Center.
As always, this is a representation of what has been made public at the beginning of the month. Additional events may (and most definitely will) be announced as the days go on.
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